Today, April 4th, is Equal Pay Day in the United States. What is important to understand about Equal Pay Day is that it represents how far into the year women need to work to earn what men were paid the year before. Equal Pay Day is part of the growing movement in recent years to bring awareness to important issues women face when it comes to equal pay for equal work.
An especially important issue for millennial women, because as millennials enter the work force, there has never been a generation of young workers that report higher rates of depression, according to Marketwatch.com.
Millennial women, raised by the baby boomer generations and generations after that, often experience entering a workforce that has not yet lived up to the ideals of gender equality that their upbringing provided them. While it may be idealistic in today's current environment, at the root of this workforce depression is the issue of a false level playing field. Millennial women often have been taught and given equal opportunity at home and in schools, only to enter the workforce to face issues regarding equal pay & opportunities for equal work.
Debra L. Ness, President of the National Partnership, a nonprofit workplace advocacy group says:
“Equal Pay Day is a painful reminder that women in this country have had to work more than three months into this year just to catch up with what men were paid last year,”
According to the National Partnership for Women & Families, the national median annual pay for a woman in a full-time, year-round job is $40,742, while men earn $51,212 . Overall, women are paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men.
Some defend the pay gap by stating that women may be working lower class jobs, but paid the same as their male counterparts within the same job class. They say that the overall pay gap is due to women taking time away for raising children and not rising in the ranks at their jobs as often as men.
“This analysis shows just how damaging that lost income can be for women and their families, as well as the economy and the businesses that depend on women’s purchasing power,” Ness continues. “Entire communities, states and our country suffer because lawmakers have not done nearly enough to end wage discrimination or to advance the fair and family friendly workplace policies that would help erase the wage gap.”
Even if that rationale is a contributing factor, the numbers still say that women don’t work for the same wage as a man in the same job. The National Partnership for Women & Families published that the wage gap still exists regardless of industry or occupations, as well as education level.
For example, in sales, women are paid 63 cents to every dollar to men. In management roles, they make 76 cents to the dollar. In office and administrative support occupations, women are paid 87 cents to the dollar.
The core problem with the wage gap is that the fundamental family unit suffers when women earn less than men. The wage gap is more severe for Black and Latino women.
The National Partnership for Women & Families reported that the wage gap is larger for mothers than for women overall. Further, mothers are the breadwinner in half of families with children under 18.
And, to bring it back home to millennial women, we are basically ahead of the times and waiting for the rest of the world to catch up to our uncompromising ideals... can you blame us though???
h/t | Forbes
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